Dublin Death Studies
Edited By Philip Cottrell and Wolfgang Marx
The essays incorporated into this volume share an ambitious interest in investigating death
as an individual, social and metaphorical phenomenon that may be exemplified by themes
involving burial rituals, identity, and commemoration. The disciplines represented are as
diverse as art history, classics, history, music, languages and literatures, and the approaches
taken reflect various aspects of contemporary death studies. These include the fear of death,
the role of death in shaping human identity, the ‘taming’ of death through ritual or aesthetic
sublimation, and the utilization of death – particularly dead bodies – to manipulate social
and political ends.
The topics covered include the exhumation and reburial of Cardinal John Henry Newman;
the funerary monument of John Donne in his shroud; the funeral of Joseph Stalin;
the theme of mutilation and non-burial of the corpse in Homer’s Iliad; the individual’s
encounter with death in the work of the German Philosopher Josef Pieper; the Requiem
by the Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford; the imagery of death in Giovanni Verga’s
novel Mastro-don Gesualdo, and the changing attitudes toward death in the writings of
Illustrations, Tables, Musical Examples
Fig. 1.1) Cardinal John Henry Newman (photographed by Herbert Barraud, 1887). Hulton Archive / Getty Images.
Fig. 1.2) Reliquary of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Shrine of the Blessed John Henry Newman at the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Fig. 2.1) Nicholas Stone, Monument to John Donne, 1631 / 2, London, St Paul’s Cathedral. Conway Library, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Fig. 2.2) Nicholas Stone, Monument to John Donne, 1631 / 2 (detail), London, St Paul’s Cathedral. Conway Library, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Fig. 2.3) Martin Droeshout, Portrait of John Donne in his Winding Sheet (after a lost original of 1631), engraved frontispiece to John Donne, Deaths Duell, London, 1632.
Fig. 2.4) Comparative photomontage reconstruction of the pose adopted by Donne in his winding sheet using a live model.
Fig. 2.5) Anon, Monument to Bishop John Wakeman (d.1549), Tewkesbury Abbey (the arrangement is not original – the transi figure originally occupied the chamber below. The gisant effigy is lost).
Fig. 2.6) Anon, The Tomb of Sir Richard Herbert, 1600 (detail of gisant and transi), St Nicholas, Montgomery, Wales.
Fig. 2.7) Melchiorr Salaboss, The Cornwall Triptych, 1588 (detail of transi), St Mary’s, Burford, Shropshire.
Fig. 2.8) Wenceslaus Holler, Tomb of Dean John Colet, engraving from William Dugdale, The History of St Paul’s Cathedral in London (London, 1658).
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